Universal merges its PR and TV arms

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA: In an unusual move, Universal Studios Hollywood

is merging its public relations department with its television

production and development department.



The change was made to tap the promotional abilities of the PR division

in an attempt to sell Universal Studios and Universal CityWalk as

potential backdrops for TV producers.



The studios have been used in numerous TV shows, and provided the

location for Ellen DeGeneres to film a spot for her new CBS series The

Ellen Show.



The newly formed division will be headed by VP Eliot Sekuler, whose

primary role is to help promote the studios as a prime location.



Sekuler, who joined the firm in 1996, was formerly EVP at Rogers &

Cowan, and counted Quincy Jones Entertainment and Warner Bros. Music as

clients.



He will report to both Don Skeoch, SVP of marketing, and Jim Yeager, SVP

of PR for Universal Studios Recreation Group.



Skeoch said in a press release, "The combination of publicity/public

relations and TV production and development will further streamline our

efforts in maximizing our exposure as the world's largest movie studio

and theme park."



The studio, currently reviewing the creative portion of its advertising

account, uses the Lee Solters Company as its external PR agency, while

Dan Klores Communications represents the Florida parks.



Separately, the company confirmed the promotion of Audrey Eig as

director of domestic publicity.



Universal Studios Hollywood is a division of the French-owned holding

company Vivendi Universal.



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